A sex offense conviction in California will almost certainly result in years of difficulties, mainly if it includes the requirement to register in the database. The registry includes convicted sex offenders' names, addresses, and physical descriptions. Because the registry is public, it can impact your interactions with others, particularly your family, friends, potential employers, and landlords. Due to the numerous negative consequences and disabilities associated with having your information in the registry, the law allows you to petition a criminal court to remove your name and other information from the registry at the end of your registration period.
To be eligible for this removal, you must meet specific criteria. But, the legal system can be complicated. That is why you require the assistance and support of an experienced attorney to navigate the process and obtain a favorable outcome.
Determine Your Eligibility
Even after serving the required jail/prison time or probation, a single criminal conviction can result in several years of difficulties and challenges. This is especially true if the sentence is for a sex-related crime. Most sex offenses require the offender to register their information in the registry for a set period. For example, some misdemeanor sex crimes require you to register for ten years, whereas more severe felonies require you to register for life.
Members of the public can access the registry. Anyone who conducts a background check on you will know your prior sex crime conviction. This impacts your relationships with the people in your life, even years after you have completed your prison sentence and probation. It will also affect your chances of finding suitable employment and a good neighborhood in which to live.
Fortunately, you can request that your name and personal information be excluded from the sex offender’s database. The provision applies to all sex offenders, but you must meet certain requirements based on the specifics of your case. For example, you must first serve your prison sentence and comply with all other probationary conditions. You must also demonstrate your full rehabilitation and evidence that you are no longer a risk to those around you.
Remember that your registration obligation could last up to twenty years or your entire life. If your prison sentence is for life, you can apply to have your information excluded from the registry but must still register each year. Taking your name off the registry does not mean you will no longer register. You must complete your lifetime registration requirements if you have a Tier 3 registration obligation.
Penal Code 290 requires convicted sex offenders for specific sex offenses to have their names entered into the registry. This alerts the public to the presence of a sex offender in their midst and makes it easier for law enforcement to keep track of sex offenses within their jurisdiction. However, registration for sex offenders comes with multiple disabilities that affect convicted sex offenders for the rest of their lives. That is why Senate Bill 386 was passed, allowing convicted sex crime convicts to request a court to be excused from reporting to the registry. Even though you will continue to fulfill your registration obligation, your information will no longer be available on the registry.
The new law establishes a three-tier system outlining the registration requirements for various types of sex-crime convictions.
Tier one requires a minimum of ten years of registration, while Tier two requires a minimum of twenty years. Tier 3 requires registration for life. These registration requirements will dictate when you can file your petition to have your information excluded from the registry.
To file this petition, you must first meet the minimum registration duration determined by the details of your case if your registration mandate falls under the tier one or tier two system. For example, if your requirements to register are under the tier one system, you can file the petition ten years from your sentencing date. However, if your registration mandate falls under Tier 3, you must continue registering for the rest of your life. In that case, you must file this petition 20 years from your sentencing date. However, you must show that you are no longer a threat to your society. You must also wait until you have served your prison sentence and completed all probation requirements.
When you file a petition with the court for removal from the registry, the judge will review it and decide based on their findings. The judge will set a hearing date if you meet all requirements. It is best to go through this process with the assistance of an experienced attorney. Your attorney will also represent you in court, ensuring you present your evidence and arguments.
Exclusion From Megan’s Law Website
You could try to have your information removed from Megan's Law registration website. It is another way to keep your reputation as a convicted sex offender safe.
If you are convicted of a specific sex crime, you must register in the database under Penal Code 290. The Department of Justice is usually in charge of maintaining and operating the registry for sex crime convicts. The information you enter in the registry is available to the people via the Megan's Law website. Anyone conducting a background investigation could learn about your criminal background through that website. Potential employers and landlords are included. This has hampered most convicted sex offenders' ability to find suitable jobs and live in safe neighborhoods.
If your names remain publicly available through this website, it can impact several aspects of your life. Thus, the new law allows you to petition a criminal court to remove your name from the Megan's Law website, allowing you to resume your life without fear of the consequences of your prior sex-crime conviction. If you are a convicted sex offender for one of the following crimes, you can file a petition under this provision:
- Sexual battery through restraint under PC 243(a).
- Molesting or annoying a child under PC 647.6.
You could also ask the judge to have your name excluded from the registry’s website if:
- The sexual offense you committed does not include oral copulation or sexual penetration.
- Your victim was your child, sibling, stepchild, or grandchild.
- You have completed your prison time and probation for the crime.
Once you have met all the requirements, you can begin the process by completing and submitting a form for exclusion from Megan's Law to the DOJ. Remember that the judge has complete discretion in granting or denying your petition. As a result, even if you meet all the listed requirements, your application can be denied. The judge can deny your request for a variety of reasons. For example, if they discover you are a sexually violent offender.
You could also request that your name be excluded from the sex offender website by:
- Filing for a certificate of rehabilitation.
- Filing for expungement.
A certificate of rehabilitation is a court order that states you (a convicted sex offender) have been fully rehabilitated. A judge can submit this certificate to the governor as a pardon application if you obtain it.
It is an offense for a convicted sex offender to access the Megan's Law website. You could face misdemeanor charges for doing so, which are punishable by six months of jail time and a $1000 fine.
Consequences for Failing to Register
Remember that if you still need to complete your requirements to register as a sex crime convict, you must continue to do so even if the courts order that your information be excluded from the registry. It is a crime to knowingly fail to submit your details to the police every year after your sex crime conviction.
If the prosecutor can prove that you were ordered to register under PC 290 and refused, they will file criminal charges against you. Your charges will be based on the underlying sex crime. For example, if you were convicted of a felony sex offense, failing to submit your details to the registry will result in felony charges.
A misdemeanor conviction for neglecting to register carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. A felony conviction carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Find a Competent Record Expungement Lawyer Near Me
Are you or someone you care about a convicted Newport Beach sex offender?
A criminal sentence carries grave consequences that could impact your life for a long time. However, you can mitigate some of its consequences by removing your information from the registry. If you are successful, your information will no longer be accessible to the general public. No one will be aware of your criminal background and cannot treat you accordingly. However, to benefit from the outcome of this legal process, you must first establish your eligibility and initiate it. Due to the complexities of these legal processes, it is best to engage a competent attorney's assistance. At Record Expungement Attorney, we can provide you with the advice and assistance you require to ensure the successful outcome of your petition. To learn more, call us at 714-587-5907.